How do we determine whether to conduct a video or audio webcast?
There are several things to consider, says Ken Balog of Vcall. "The first is the makeup of your target audience and the Internet speed (bandwidth) connection they'll have," he says.
For an audio webcast, your attendees need a minimum 33KB connection, he adds. For a webcast with audio and video, they should have a high-speed connection of at least 75KB-plus, depending on the quality of the video you want to broadcast.
You also need to consider the type of video you want to broadcast. "For live video," Balog says, "the quality and span of video required will dictate whether a simple Webcam can be used or if an on-site video crew will be needed."
"If an on-site crew is needed, the cost of the event will increase dramatically," he adds. "Also consider what value the video will bring to the participants. If you want them to focus on the presenter, video makes sense. But if you want participants to concentrate on the message content, then an audio webcast with slides is probably the way to go."
How important is it for an executive to practice his or her remarks before a keynote?
"It is extremely important," says freelance speechwriter Ady Dewey. "Without practice, critical messaging can transmogrify into a captious mess. Providing a script or talking points as part of a PR package should also include a practice session - ideally a full dress rehearsal, including Q&A if that's part of the program.
At minimum, Dewey suggests a talk-through of the draft well before event day, especially to add a favorite quote or personal reflection that can be interwoven into the script.
"This avoids an on-the-spot addition of a joke or story that does nothing to reinforce the overall theme, or even worse, is offensive," she says. "If a speaker adamantly refuses to take the time up-front, tape the actual presentation and discuss it afterwards."
The degrees of intervention vary, of course, based on many factors, notes Dewey.
"It depends upon the abilities and experience of the speaker, the complexity of the remarks, and his or her familiarity with the topic," she notes. "What doesn't vary is the importance of the audience - regardless of size or location. Every speaking opportunity is a chance to promote, connect, and show leadership. And to maximize those values is worth the investment in time."
I'm concerned that if our employees engage with reporters, we may become the poster child on issues we don't want to discuss. How can I pre-empt this scenario?
"Make sure there is a policy in place regarding media contact," says The Ammerman Experience's Jeff Braun. "Then make sure this information is communicated with front-line workers during shift meetings or at other regular venues."
Ensure specific wording is provided, allowing them to politely and confidently disengage and refer reporters to designated spokespersons, he adds. Braun specifies that in the case of night or shift managers, they may be especially vulnerable, particularly during crisis situations.
"You may want to consider a basic media training workshop for individuals who are not designated spokespersons, but may be the first company representatives to come in contact with reporters," he says.